THE JAGDEO REGIME’S CONTINUED DISREGARD AND DISRESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW--PRESS STATEMENT Friday 2 July 2010




SUMMARY:
• The People’s National Congress Reform extends condolences to the family of the late Fred Fredericks;
• The People’s National Congress Reform extends to the Caribbean Community as a whole and its staff at the Community Secretariat, in particular, warm congratulations on the occasion of the 37th Anniversary of the Regional Integration Movement;
• The People’s National Congress Reform extends congratulations to all those Grade 6 pupils who have been awarded places in Secondary schools, as a result of their performance at the National Grade Six Assessment, formerly called the Secondary Schools Entrance Examinations (SSEE);
• The colour coding of all Government owned vehicles will enable all Guyanese to know when those vehicles are being used for official purposes or to further the private agendas of Government and political operatives;
• The PNCR extends its condolences to the families and relatives of those who lost their lives in the recent accident at Kwakwani, Berbice. The Party also wishes those who are injured a speedy recovery;
• The placing on the internet of the statements of the child witness in the CN Sharma carnal knowledge case is a most dangerous development for the integrity of the system of justice in Guyana and it must be condemned.

CONDOLENCES TO THE TUF AND TO THE FREDERICKS FAMILY ON THE PASSING OF FRED FREDERICKS

The People’s National Congress Reform extends condolences to the family of the late Fred Fredericks, retired Chairman of The United Force Party and a former president of the Guyana Organization of Indigenous People, who died on Monday 28th June 2010 at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Mr. Fredericks made outstanding contributions to his party and to Guyana and was an outstanding representative of the indigenous people during his lifetime.

May his soul rest in peace.

PNCR MESSAGE ON THE OCCASION OF THE 37TH ANNIVERSARY OF CARICOM

The People’s National Congress Reform extends to the Caribbean Community as a whole and its staff at the Community Secretariat, in particular, warm congratulations on the occasion of the 37th Anniversary of the Regional Integration Movement.

The PNCR acknowledges that, within recent times, the integration process has been subject to some testing times. The impact of the global economic and financial crisis has placed new burdens on the integration process. Important components of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) have come under scrutiny and challenge.

However, the PNCR, which has played an important role in promoting and sustaining the movement for unity of the region, and is, therefore, familiar with the evolution of its history, would never lose faith because of these trials.
The integration process has been challenged before, in various ways, but it has survived them and, as a result, is today one of the oldest integration movements in the world.

The PNCR, therefore, salutes the integration process and its leaders in a confident mood and looks forward to the community playing an even greater role in the lives of the citizens of this region.

THE 2010 GRADE SIX ASSESSMENT RESULTS

The People’s National Congress Reform extends congratulations to all those Grade 6 pupils who have been awarded places in Secondary schools, as a result of their performance at the National Grade Six Assessment, formerly called the Secondary Schools Entrance Examinations (SSEE).

Special congratulations are extended to those who have done exceedingly well, especially Ms. Sonia Ghir of Mae’s Under 12, who secured 555 marks out of a total of 565 marks to top the country. As reported in the Stabroek News, of 29 June 2010, 12 year old Sonia thought that her performance was “amazing, wonderful, incredulous”, and we echo those sentiments.

The PNCR also notes that the pupils in the top 106 have been spread across the country. We specially note the three pupils from Aishalton and St. Ignatius Primary Schools in Region 9.

But even as these Grade 6 pupils have done exceedingly well, the Honourable Minister of Education has indicated that English remains a major concern. It is true that, because of how the examinations papers are structured, many pupils perform well in the “Multiple Choice” section of the papers, but when it comes to the Paper 2, especially in English, the pupils have great difficulty in sentence construction and Comprehension. It should be a matter for particular concern that, when it comes to the Composition question, many of the pupils cannot express themselves properly.

The PNCR also notes that the Honourable Minister has highlighted the improvement in the Mathematics results and indicated that the Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) programme is paying off. Teachers have complained about the delivery of the programme.

What the Honourable Minister of Education did not highlight was the many problems with the delivery of the programme. In many schools, the CD players are out of order and, when they are operable, there are no batteries, hence they cannot be used. Some pupils are left behind.

The PNCR recognises that, for many of the pupils, the improvement in the Mathematics results could be attributed to the extra lessons programmes done privately. For example, the top student from Mae’s also attended Mr. Success’ lessons and, according to Kaieteur News of 29 June 2010, the top performer for Region # 2, who placed 7th nationally, indicated that he attended extra lessons from 17:00 to 22:00 hrs each day leading up to his exams.

The PNCR, also, notes that even as the Honourable Minister of Education has highlighted the establishment of the Literacy Unit, in the same issue of the Stabroek News, we are told that some teachers attached to this programme have not received their stipends since February 2010. The Ministry of Education must be reminded that teachers also have financial commitments.

Even as we of the People’s National Congress Reform congratulate the Grade 6 pupils, we call on the officials of the Ministry of Education to review the placement system used to allocate pupils to secondary schools.

The public should have been notified that the previous system, whereby pupils, with marks below that for the top 106 performers, were allocated a place in a particular category of secondary school, based on the number of marks attained, is no longer in use. Secondary schools are graded according to the school population and not by the quality of teaching and the performance of the school. The allocation is being done according to the grades of the schools. Therefore, this does not bear any relationship to the range of marks which the pupil attained.

The PNCR calls upon the Minister of Education to immediately explain, to concerned and confused parents and to the nation, the methodology being used to award places to pupils who have attained marks below the top 106 performers.


COLOUR CODE VEHICLES OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT

Over the last two weeks the Government has begun to implement President Jagdeo’s dictatorial imposition, that all taxis should be sprayed in the colour yellow. The implementation of such a far reaching decision, by the Executive, without any consultation with the stakeholders, is indicative of the conduct displayed by the PPP/C Administration over the past eighteen years.

Guyanese are totally fed up with their country being manipulated at the whims and fancies of a President who is obviously out of touch with the real concerns of the people of Guyana.

With corruption featuring at such a high level, the obvious priority of the Jagdeo regime ought to have been the implementation of measures to curb this apparently out-of-control phenomena. Instead, the Administration appears bent on imposing ill thought out measures that have no real possibility of achieving stated objectives.

The nation was advised that the colour coding of hire-cars would make them easily identifiable and would also help in curbing crime. This flawed reasoning is still to be explained to the average citizen. What is the difference if persons are bent on using stolen vehicles to commit crimes?

Judging from the reports of carjacking for the commission of crimes, it appears that the bandits have a preference for particular types of vehicles. Has this information assisted the Police to reduce or prevent this phenomena? The regular reports suggest that they have failed miserably to curb this type of offence. How the police would achieve the reduction of crime by all hire cars having the same colour is mind boggling.

An obviously more beneficial measure would have been to colour code all vehicles owned by the people of Guyana. The tax payers would then be placed in a better position to monitor the use of vehicles owned by them. There should be no objections to such a measure as most police vehicles are already identifiable and this does not interfere with the performance of their duties.

The colour coding of all Government owned vehicles, therefore, will enable all Guyanese to know when those vehicles are being used for official purposes or to further the private agendas of Government and political operatives. This measure is likely to reduce the millions being wasted in fuel, maintenance and repairs for vehicles not carrying out any functions of the Government.

The PNCR, therefore, recommends that President Jagdeo uses his imagination and his dictatorial tendencies to order that all vehicles owned by the Government and state owned companies be colour coded RED. This would also include those vehicles used by members of the Cabinet, including the President, that are paid for by the tax payers of Guyana.

THE RECENT FATAL ACCIDENT AT KWAKWANI EXPOSES PPP/C DISCRIMINATION

The PNCR extends its condolences to the families and relatives of those who lost their lives in the recent accident at Kwakwani, Berbice. The Party also wishes those who are injured a speedy recovery. Any one who is aware of the facts, however, would know that lives have been lost and injuries accentuated because of the wanton neglect of the Bauxite communities by the PPP/C Administration over the last eighteen years. This consistent pattern of the disproportionate allocation of resources for development leads to no other conclusion than that the PPP/C is guilty of both political and racial discrimination.

The accident occurred in the late afternoon and, were there a proper road between Linden and Kwakwani, an ambulance would have been able to rush the injured to the alleged, NEW, “State of the Art” Hospital at Linden within ninety minutes. However, because of the deplorable state of the road , what should have been a ninety minute journey became one of more than five hours.

The PNCR has raised this matter yearly in the National Assembly, but the PPP/C has failed to respond. It is also amazing that the Government allocates millions of dollars yearly for the purported maintenance of this road. The reality is that such resources are intended to satisfy some favourite PPP contractors annually.

By refusing to allocate the required resources to build an all-weather road, millions are spent annually to grade a sandy strip close to the rainy season to guarantee that there is a need for similar work in the following year. Such weird planning in not accidental. The PPP has practised this kind of discriminatory policy in all areas of infrastructural development in Region Ten over the past years.

Had there been a proper, or at least, a reasonably maintained, road between Linden and Kwakwani, the victims of the recent accident would have been able to receive quality health care at Linden shortly thereafter.

Regrettably, it required the intervention of Regional Chairman, Mr. Mortimer Mingo, to appeal to the “powers-that-be” in Georgetown, before a rescue effort could have been mounted by aircraft from Georgetown. Significantly, the aircraft which had their original destination as the Linden airstrip to speedily ferry the injured to the Linden Hospital had to be diverted to Georgetown because of the deplorable state of the Linden Airstrip. Eventually, only one aircraft was able to land and as a result the rescue effort was stymied by the victims having to wait until the next day to be ferried to better health facilities.

This disgraceful state of affairs, which resulted in the loss of lives, must be remembered as the latest example of the PPP political and racial discrimination. Activities for their removal must be intensified.

THE JAGDEO REGIME’S CONTINUED DISREGARD AND DISRESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW

The placing on the internet of the statements of the child witness in the CN Sharma carnal knowledge case is a most dangerous development for the integrity of the system of justice in Guyana and it must be condemned.

It is common knowledge that the well known TV Host, Mr. C.N. Sharma, is currently before the court in the case of having carnal knowledge of a 13 year old girl and other related charges of “witness tampering.”

Last Friday, 25 June 2010, on the “Live in Guyana” blog, there appeared a five page statement complete with the name and address of the 13 year old girl at the centre of the trial. “Live in Guyana” is a blog generally believed to be controlled by operatives out of the Office of the President. On the same day that the statement appeared on this blog, the police intercepted a person in the act of delivering copies of statements of other witnesses, in the said carnal knowledge case, to the Prime News media house. Statements were before delivered to other selected media houses.

Any doubts about the political nature of the charges against Mr. C.N. Sharma may now be laid to rest, especially coming at a time when the mother of the 13 year old has come forward to disclose that herself and daughter were coerced to give those statements, in the first place.

What is more fundamental, however, is the role of the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecution in this matter.

Like the other related charges of “witness tampering”, this case is indictable and a Preliminary Inquiry is being conducted before a Georgetown Magistrate. The Prosecution is being conducted not by the regular police prosecutors but by lawyers with a fiat from the DPP Chambers. It, therefore, calls into question the autonomy and integrity of the DPP Chambers which is the sole custodian of the police file with all the Statements of the witnesses in the case.

Equally reprehensible, in this matter, is the fact that one week has gone by and no one has seen it fit to delete this statement from the internet blog, not the Minister of Human Services and her Child Protection Agency, nor the DPP who is in charge of the prosecution of the case.

It is to be noted that the President, with great fanfare, signed into law the Sexual Offence Bill. Under this law it is an offence to disclose such details as the name and address of victims of sexual offences.

When the police recently released to the media the statements in the Peter Ramsaroop’s case, the Commissioner of Police attempted to justify their actions. The nation also awaits a response from the Commissioner on this latest development.


People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Friday 2 July 2010